The Book of Numbers – Big or small God cares about it all

Numbers 27:1b “The names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah.”

These young women’s names are forever in scripture, remembered for their courage, their manner and the change they initiated.

Zelophehad’s daughters did not have any brothers, their father had died in the wilderness. The people were about to enter the promised land and a second census had just been taken for how the land would be distributed between each clan and families. Considering the time, this family would not receive their portion of the promised land, as the law was such that only a male heir could inherit. Without sons to inherit the land, their father’s name would be erased from among the rest of the clan. Take a moment and reflect on their situation, they must have felt quite lost and unseen with what their future held in the promised land.

These young women chose not to not accept their situation, just because this was how things were done. They showed initiative and courage by standing up for themselves and they did it with respect and dignity. They did not stir up any trouble about unfairness, they took their plight to Moses and all the leaders. They spoke honestly, advocating their case. There are times when we have to advocate for ourselves, and just like these women, may we do it with respect and grace.

How did Moses respond?

This whole situation, reveals a lot about Moses as a leader, the people felt confident to approach him and be heard.  Even though they were asking for something that was unheard of then, Moses does not disregard their plea. He also did not presume that things should remain as is, showing wisdom and humility he takes it to God. Moses continues to lean on God for wisdom and guidance every step and every decision he had to make. What a wonderful lesson for us here as we navigate our choices and decisions, may we always turn to God for his leading.

For anyone in the camp there, they would have seen and known that Moses always spoke to God and did what God asked him to. Knowing this, Zelophehad’s daughters knew that they were leaving their fate in the Lord’s hands. This points us to a beautiful lesson in surrendering to God. Surrender does not mean we do nothing, but instead, do all we can and leave the rest in God’s hands. Zelophehad’s daughters, changed things not only for them but also for future generations of women.

In this situation we might think it might be easier to let go, as they took their plea to Moses, he was a man of God who listened to what God had to say. What do we do when in life we do not always find ourselves in a position under godly leadership. There is this urge to want to control things more then as we struggle to trust that the person will do what is right. But let us take encouragement from scripture of people like Joseph and Daniel, who did not always find themselves under authority that feared or followed God but God was always there for them. May we too in such moments remember that our circumstances are never above God but he is always above and in control of them.  

Numbers 27: 12-14 “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain in the Abarim Range and see the land I have given the Israelites. After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes.” (These were the waters of Meribah Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.)”

While Zelophehad’s daughters were ensuring that their father’s name and inheritance would remain when they entered the promised land, we do not read here of Moses asking God to reconsider allowing him to enter the promised land. But rather we see God speak to Moses about showing him a glimpse of the promised land from afar, the top of a mountain. Even though Moses faltered at the Desert of Zin and disobeyed God, he was a good and faithful servant and we see God shows him kindness by allowing him to get a glimpse of the promised land.  

Although Moses is facing the reality of seeing the promised land only from afar and never entering it, the focus on his heart was towards the Israelites and their need for a leader, a shepherd after him.

Num 27:15-17 “Moses said to the Lord,“May the Lord, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”

God instructs Moses to take Joshua to be the one to lead the people after him. Moses takes Joshua, stands him before the entire assembly, lays hands on him and commissions him to be the next leader.

Notice the way Moses refers to God in verse 15, “The Lord who gives breath to all living things”  Moses words speaks of God’s sovereignty over everything. His words reflect the one who created everything and hold it all in his hands. His words seem to come from a place that enables one to have the right perspective when what we desire might not be what God has laid out for us. And possibly that reflects why Moses was able to not think only of himself as he stood on top of that mountain and viewed the promised land but instead his heart was for the people. A humbling reminder for us that when things do not pan out the way we hoped, fix your focus on the Lord and it enables us to have peace with his plan for us.

Through this passage, we see God care about personal matters (zelophehad’s daughters), tending to the heart of Moses (giving him a glimpse of the promised land) and a matter pertaining to the entire people (Moses’s successor). He is a God who looks after not just the big issues but also the heart issues and every little detail of our lives.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your word and this beautiful lesson from Zelophehad’s daughters that you care about every detail of our lives. Give us the courage to take initiative, to do what we can, not to try and control everything but to surrender and leave it in your hands. Lord, like Moses, may we always seek you for guidance, not lean on our own understanding but with wisdom and humility lean on you.  Lord, like Moses give us peace to rest in your plan for us, shape our desires to be in alignment with yours. May our lives bring you glory. Amen.

34 thoughts on “The Book of Numbers – Big or small God cares about it all

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  1. Such an encouraging post, Manu! In each of the situations, we see surrender and trust. A much needed reminder to allow the Lord to guide us, no matter what we are facing. His plans are always exceeding, abundantly, above and beyond what we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). Thank you for sharing this. Have a blessed weekend! 🤍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. Yes, surrender and trust in both these situations really caught my attention and was such a reminder for me as I can want to control things.
      Thank you my friend 💙😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I so love these lessons you pointed out.
    1. To bring up and speak out our concern in a respectful manner.
    2. To rely on God for decisions to make. And rely on Him, trust Him when we are under ungodly leaders.
    3. To be humble and learn to listen to others.

    Truly beautiful. 🙏 praise the Lord! His Word is a fountain of wisdom. 🙌

    Thank you for this, Manu. Great post, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First of all. I love your prayer. It’s powerful

    Secondly I love this blog post. I relate with it on several levels.

    I am someone who never accepts status quo. I always wanna challenge it. I always never wanna accept narratives. So I normally go to God with very detailed and often overlooked petitions and requests and I have learnt first hand that we don’t have a God who cannot sympathize with us but we have one who is sympathetic and kind and loving. A God who is concerned with every detail of our lives.

    God bless you for sharing and may God use this blog post to meet someone in their hour of need. Be blessed ❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marla, as you know we do not always understand how God works. He does care but he also gives free will and ultimately it is each person’s choice to follow God. But while saying that we have to remind ourselves that prayer is powerful and we are to keep
      Praying with hope. May God give you peace and strength.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Manu. I appreciate these words of wisdom. Please say a prayer for me. We just got back from a week’s vacation and I didn’t feel connected to him at all. For me, priorities should be God first, each other second and the rest of the world after that. For him, it’s worldly stuff/friends first, then us if he is reminded and then he’ll begrudgingly try. So messed up and breaks my heart. What should have been a wonderful time together was just sad for me. So please pray that God heals my heart from this latest incident. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. May his peace fill you Marla. Also, just realised that I wrote the word prayer wrong, but am happy that you got it.


  4. Amen to your prayer. And thank you for sharing about these women. They remind us to be courageous and stand up for ourselves and for what is right. It’s one of my favorite stories. Moses encourages us to seek the Lord. God is concerned about every detail of our lives. Have a blessed week Manu. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Manu. I can always guarantee that I will find good faithful food on your blog page. Always so rich and nourishing. I love these women and it shows that God’s heart is never about inequality. Imagine such a bold move at a time when women had few rights. I was leading a bible study group recently and a young convert was a bit upset about how women seemed to fair a bit worst in the Old Testament. Perhaps it was the fall and men may have still held it against Eve for a while. Scriptures like these and even Jesus’s example, shows that God’s heart was never towards inequality and injustice. In Moses’s case, if I were in his position, I would have happily taken the opportunity to go home to God to rest. Leading a rebellious people was hard and his relationship with God was so intimate that he knew he would be at home with the Lord, safe and at peace. Bless you. ❤️🙏🏾😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They were bold and I definitely think God gave them the courage. I agree Anneta, that it was the fall that probably led to an inequality and injustice.
      And I hope that the young lady keeps turning to God and wise council with parts of scripture that she finds hard to understand. The culture then which she reads was established by sinful man. When God created Adam and Eve, although Adam was to lead he did not have any extra privileges to Eve. She was given all that he had and treated fairly.
      Thank you and bless you my sister 💙💐

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I reassured her and encouraged her to talk about the hard parts. We have to let people know that it is safe to feel conflicted about the things that they read so there is no judgment, but a safe place to disagree or express frustration. God is able as we continue to teach his word and raise disciples for Christ. ❤️🙏🏾

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I am constantly amazed at how the Father simultaneously manages the macro and the micro with such flawless precision, wisdom, and love. I am so thankful that nothing escapes His notice, and that He cares about everything that matters to our hearts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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